Leading scorer Tyler Ennis and forward Jerry D’Amigo were absent from the Buffalo Sabres’ morning skate on Monday.
Sabres coach Ted Nolan hopes that Ennis, who came down with a touch of the flu, will be able to play Monday night against the Dallas Stars. Ennis wasn’t feeling well in the morning so the coaching staff had him stay back at the hotel to rest.
D’Amigo will not play and Nolan said that center Tim Schaller has been called up from the American Hockey League to take his place in the lineup.
D’Amigo missed a good chunk of Saturday night’s game after taking a high stick from Craig Wilson to the mouth in the first period. D’Amigo would finish the game wearing a full facemask. Wilson was fined $5,000 for the infraction by the NHL Department of Player Safety.
Nolan said that D’Amigo underwent an MRI on Monday to see if there is any more damage that x-rays may have missed.
The Sabres are set to take on the Stars at 8:30 p.m. EST from American Airlines Center. The Tops Game Night pregame show will begin at 8 p.m. EST on MSG-B and Bell. The game can also be heard live on WGR 550.
LINDBACK TO START
The Anders Lindback Reunion Tour will make a stop in Dallas and this time, the goaltender will start against his former club.
The Sabres went with Matt Hackett in net on Saturday against Lindback’s other former team, the Nashville Predators. Sabres coach Ted Nolan said the team considered coming back with Hackett following his 40-save performance but he was feeling sore after the game.
Buffalo acquired Lindback and a conditional third-round pick from Dallas on Feb. 11 for goalie Jhonas Enroth and Lindback will make his ninth appearance in the past 10 games.
In his eight games with Buffalo, Lindback has recorded a .930 save percentage and a 2.49 goals-against average, stopping at least 30 shots in his of his seven starts.
Nikita Zadorov learned yet another lesson in his young NHL career on Saturday and Nolan hopes that he can grow from what happened on the ice against Nashville.
Stepping up into the play, Zadorov attempted to fire a slap shot on goal, but his stick shattered and he then threw it along the boards. Nashville immediately came back down on an odd-man rush and Zadorov found himself trapped between trying to grab a new stick from the bench and skating back to make a play.
With Zadorov out of position, the Predators ended up scoring to go ahead 2-0.
“It was just crazy. I didn’t break a stick for two months and then it just broke down. It’s more of an experience – it’s never happened before so I didn’t know what to do – go change or stay on the play. I kind of didn’t do [either] of them. I got stuck on the blue line there so next time, I’ve got to figure it out early.”
Nolan was upset with the play after the game and had a good chat with Zadorov on the ice before the start of the morning skate both about how to deal with that situation next time and how he needs to approach the game.
“He’s such a likeable individual but he’s got to get that seriousness in that game,” Nolan said. “He’s got to be a little bit more physical. He’s got to keep his stick on the ice. He’s got to finish his checks. He’s got to play with some urgency, all those types of things we talk to him about.
“He keeps saying, ‘Yes and yes and yes.’ So we’ll just keep hammering that message to him and hopefully he gets it.”
Sabres captain Brian Gionta said that the young players have been receptive to those types of talks and have been eager to learn.
“Between coaching or players, you have to grab him, talk him through it and try to figure out what the best scenario is,” Gionta said. “It’s a mistake and he’s going to take it to heart. You’ve got to make sure it doesn’t affect him, but at the same time, when it rises again, it doesn’t happen.”
26 Matt Moulson – 22 Johan Larsson – 63 Tyler Ennis
82 Marcus Foligno – 84 Philip Varone – 12 Brian Gionta
59 Tim Schaller – 25 Mikhail Grigorenko – 19 Cody Hodgson
44 Nicolas Deslauriers – 37 Matt Ellis – 20 Zac Dalpe
6 Mike Weber – 55 Rasmus Ristolainen
51 Nikita Zadorov – 41 Andrej Meszaros
61 Andre Benoit – 24 Tyson Strachan
35 Anders Lindback
31 Matt Hackett
Scratched: 35 Chad Johnson (injured, lower body), 47 Zach Bogosian (injured, lower body), 49 Jerry D’Amigo (injured, mouth)
Injured Reserve: 4 Josh Gorges (lower body), 8 Cody McCormick (blood clots), 9 Evander Kane (shoulder), 28 Zemgus Girgensons (lower body), 36 Patrick Kaleta (knee)